visualizations and memory tests

This morning (while still in bed) I decided to  check my memorization of Surface Drift Layout 1 by visualizing the notes. I noticed that I could actually remember everything, and thought I was recalling the notes faster than I have been while actually trying to play them at the instrument… this led me to recognize that my visual memory of the piece was coming from the sheet music alone, and not the visual image of the instrument – or my mallets hitting the instrument, or from physical muscle memory – so, that means I am looking at the music more than the instrument. AND, I need to stop that!

Also before practicing today, I realized that up until now, I have just been taking one day at a time… a luxury afforded to me due to sabbatical (thank you!). However, that means that some days I totally neglect one piece because I am caught up in another. This won’t work for me for long, so I think it is time to create goal sheet (assuming major public performance in November, and several smaller practice performances need to take place before that). So, below is the beginning stages of organizing my time…

The plan is to alternate the following two daily plans for now:

Day 1 (in no particular order) – 30+ minutes technique/warmup; 90+ minutes on Rip Tide (this is primary focus for this day); 30+ minutes on drumset; 60+ minutes on Surface Drift (mostly memory work); 30 minutes sight-read on any instrument

Day 2 (in no particular order) – 30+ minutes technique/warmup; 90+ minutes on Surface Drift (this is primary focus for this day) ; 60+ minutes on drumset (including double bass drum technique); 45+ minutes on Rip Tide (mostly just reading through and building tempo); 30+ minutes improvising on any instrument


Surface Drift

Layout 3 – worked on all roll types again in this section, listening to the music to determine what roll types fit where… still want to record and get Michael’s (composer) opinion. Played with metronome at 1/4 note = 76bpm.

Layout 1- worked more on repetition, memory, and building tempo. Currently memorized almost through the end of page 2 and comfortably playing at 1/4 note = 50bpm.

Layout 2 – read through hands separate, then tried to read together. Actually not so bad… I was able to read pretty accurately… at 1/4 note = 10bpm… yes, you read that right = 10bpm. How about that tempo? I need to get to 80-100bpm. So, I need to get it memorized asap… there is no way to see all those notes and the music simultaneously.

Ripe Tide 

Well I planned to get to this, and I thought about it, but I just didn’t do it today. Back again tomorrow. (Oops… day one on a new practice plan and I’ve already faltered.) 😉

Feedback piece

I did get to talk with Brett Masteller Warren today about a piece we are working on together. He is about to start building contact mics and speakers to bring over next week, so we can test out some ideas! Put together Stokhausen’s Microphonie + David Tudor + Brett + Julie+ ring modulators + timpani + graphics…. what do you get? I have no idea, but it will be fun to experiment!!


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